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MSNBC
Feb 7, 2013 1:00pm PST
it will be because of the work that's been done over the past number of years by some brave americans in cia and other places. believe me, i am focused as a laysier on the issue of the ied threat. >> my name is up, thank you, madam chairman. >> thank you. before you start, senator, a vote is due to start at 4:00. it's five after 4:00. senator chambliss went to vote. as soon as he returned, i will go. we will just keep this going so members be guided by that. >> this is my wonderful, beautiful wife kathy who has been my spouse for 34 years and my partner in my work, and my brother thomas also is hear from new jersey. >> we would like to welcome you and we know that not only will you serve but your entire family has served and will continue to srve and i'm going to echo the remarks of my colleague senator warner thanking the people of the central intelligence agency for what they do every day in every way working often in a way that is not known, not recognized and, quite frankly, not always appreciated. top human spy agency to make sure we have no strategic surprises. that it has become more
MSNBC
Feb 7, 2013 12:00pm PST
hundreds of american lives in lebanon including a 49-year-old cia officer named bob ames killed in a brief visit to our embassy in beirut and who at the time was my boss at cia. during my 25-year career at cia, i watched up close and participated in history being made in far off corners of the world. as cia fulfilled the critical intelligence roles, collecting intelligence, uncovering secrets, identifying threats, partnering with foreign intelligence and security agencies, carrying out covert action and attempting to forecast events yet to happen, all in an effort to protect our people and to strengthen america's national security. and throughout my career, i had the great fortune to experience firsthand and to witness what it means to be a cia officer. such as an analyst, who has the daunting task and tremendous responsibility to take incomplete and frequently contradictory information and advise the senior most policymakers of our government about foreign, political, military and economic developments. our an operations officer whose job it is to find and obtain the elusive secret that i
MSNBC
Feb 7, 2013 6:00pm PST
for john brennan, president obama's nominee to heat cia, it was held in the intelligence committee in the senate, right? well, specifically it's called the u.s. senate select committee on intelligence. this committee was not created until 1976. it was created specifically in response to the recommendations of the church committee. the church committee was a special senate investigation led by idaho senator frank church. it was formed in 1975. their work took nine months and 150 staffers. they produced a two-foot-thick report in may 1976 that said, among other things, that we need congress to oversee intelligence in this country. the way we are overseeing it now is not working. and you know why we can tell that oversight is not working? because the cia keeps killing people. or trying to kill people in other countries that we are not at war with. the cia at the time had taken it upon itself, it wasn't clear if they were acting alone or at various presidents' direction, but they had taken on the job of assassinations in foreign countries. assassinations and attempted assassinations. a
MSNBC
Feb 6, 2013 6:00pm PST
the president's nominee to run the cia will appear before the intelligence committee in the senate for confirmation hearing. congressional oversight on national security and war. the executive branch recognizing that this is a rest of the government too, even on national security. oh what a feeling. joining us now is andrea mitching, nbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent and the host of andrea mitchell reports on nbc. thanks very much for being here. so why now? how big a change in course is this for the administration? >> dianne feinstein, the chair of the committee yesterday still saying yesterday they wanted the original documents. then today on our program at 1:00, the house chairman who carries a lot of weight about and has is very supportive, a former fbi guy, a republican, though, said he also thought the original memos should be turned over, that the white paper that had been turned over to them last summer that michael isikoff uncovered and reported first on your show was not good enough. that it needed to finally be the actual legal guidance that was turned over to th
MSNBC
Feb 7, 2013 11:00am PST
the globe. to confront these challenges, and to lead the cia through a difficult budget tear period after a decade of major budget increases, president obama nominated john brennan. his closest adviser on intelligence and counterterrorism matters for the past four years. mr. brennan is without a doubt qualified for this position. he served at the cia for 25 years. in analytical, managerial capacities. seen the agency from just about every angle. as a line analyst. as chief of station. as chief of staff to the director. and as the deputy executive director among many others. people who have worked closely with him regularly cite his work ethic. his sbintegrity and determinati. in nominating john brennan, president obama spoke of his, quote, commitment to the values that define us as americans. dni clapper in a letter of support noted his impeccable integrity and his commitment to country is second to none. so with unanimous consent, i would like to insert in to the record letters the committee has received in regard to mr. brennan's nomination. john brennan by all accounts will be a strong
MSNBC
Feb 8, 2013 10:00am PST
's nominee to head the cia faced tough questioning yesterday about waterboarding during the bush years when he was at the cia and the current white house's huge expansion under his direction of targeted killings by drones. >> your view seems to be that even if we could save american lives by detaining more terrorists, using only traditional techniques, it would be better to kill them with a drone or let them go free rather than detain them. can you explain the logic in that argument? >> i respectfully disagree, senator. i never believe it's better to kill a terrorist than to detain him. we want to detain as many terrorists as possible so we can elicit the intelligence from them in the appropriate manner so that we can disrupt following terrorist attacks. >> joining us is john mclaughlin, the cia's acting director and with john hopkins school of studies. thank you for being with us. you were a career cia person, and you know the drill. it's very clear that absent anything occurring that we don't know about that john brennan is going to be the cia director. do you think that this conversation
MSNBC
Feb 5, 2013 1:00am PST
for is the one who is up this week. on thursday of this week, president obama's nominee to head the cia, john brennan, will face the senate intelligence committee for his confirmation hearing as the director of central intelligence. one of the very first thing president obama did you might remember when he first became president at the start of his first term in 2009 was that he dropped the bush administration's torture policy. remember, he did that right away. he issued an executive order two davis taking office to doubly, triply extra ban torture in the united states. at the start of that first term, newly elected president obama also wanted to nominate john brennan to be the head of the cia. but he didn't end up putting him forward. john brennan ended up taking his name out of contention for that nomination because of opposition to him being chosen. and the opposition centered on the fact that john brennan had been deputy executive director of the cia during the bush days. during the bad old torturing prisoners days of the george w. bush administration. so you're going to have a brand-new
MSNBC
Feb 8, 2013 1:00pm PST
for cia director nominee john brennan. >> tough questions about drones. >> any american who joins al qaeda will know full well that they have joined an organization that is at war with the united states. >> targeted killing by the cia is not just something they're allowed to do quietly on their own. >> with the exception of mr. panetta, i feel i have been jerked around by every cia director. >> i love these groups that are criticizing us saying, well, they're fake conservatives. >> this newspaper article about karl rove's intentions is only serving to unite the tea party. >> you made some mistakes but everybody makes mistakes. >> sure. >> heard anything on nbc about the drones? >> not yet. >> tonight we have exclusive reporting on the contents of that white paper. joining us now is nbc news national investigative correspondent michael isikoff. ♪ >>> we start on a day where up to three feet of snow and winds nearing hurricane strength are expected to batter the northeast, and we'll have much more on that throughout the broadcast. but we begin in washington where we are awaiting the presid
MSNBC
Feb 8, 2013 6:00am PST
it's time for "the daily rundown" and "the fix" is in today. >>> hearing secrets, cia nominee john brennan faces stiff scrutiny from all sides in tough questioning over drones, waterboarding and leaks. popular vote, hillary clinton is day's removed from public office but a new poll finds her public image soaring. time to put another log on the 2016 speculation fire. and the northeast braces for a giant winter storm that could deliver historic and dangerous amounts of snow combined with gale force winds. the latest update on what to expect in minutes. good morning from washington. it's friday, february 8, 2013, and this is "the daily rundown." from the moment cia nominee john brennan entered his confirmation hearing on thursday, it was clear that the first major public discussion of the obama administration's drone program would be on the combative end, offering a rare public display of democratic dismay with their president a president's policies. after protesters interrupted brennan's opening statement five times, committee chair dianne feinstein cleared the room leaving it nearly
MSNBC
Feb 8, 2013 3:00am PST
of the cia. john brennan, the architect of the obama administration's drone program, strongly defended their use, saying strikes only take place to prevent terror threats, not as punishment for them. >> i think there is a misimpression on the part of some american people who believe that we take strikes to punish terrorists for past transgressions. nothing could be further from the truth. we only take such actions as a last resort to save lives when there's no other alternative to taking an action that's going to mitigate that threat. >> democratic senator ron wyden who has demanded more insight into the administration's legal justification for drone strikes against americans pressed brennan on the issue. >> do you believe that the president should provide an individual american with the opportunity to surrender before killing them? >> any american who joins al qaeda will know full well that they have joined an organization that is at war with the united states and has killed thousands upon thousands of individuals, many, many of them who were americans. so i think any american who did
MSNBC
Feb 8, 2013 2:30am PST
, the president's pick to head the cia. we'll show you his answers on the controversial drone program ask why he refused to call waterboarding torture. >>> new revelations as to what the white house didn't do to help the rebels in syria and why president obama went against the advice of his top advisers. >>> before we get to our top political stories we begin with what will be a record-setting winter storm bearing down on the northeast. could bring easily up to 2 feet to new york city, long island, all of connecticut, all of rhode island, eastern massachusetts, coastal new hampshire and maine blizzard warnings. millions of people, hours left to prepare, the blizzard of 2013 is starting today. you can see where it's located behind me, off the outer banks of north carolina, the heavy rain shield goes up through the mid-atlantic, all the way into southern jersey. the snow part of the storm has yet to begin. that will happen as we go through the morning hours and especially after noon today into new england. that's really your cut-off time if you're anywhere from federal jersey northward. whatever y
MSNBC
Feb 7, 2013 10:00am PST
on the eve of john brennan's cia hearing. the white house relents and turns over its secret memo. >> every american has the right to know when their government believes it's allowed to kill them. this idea that security and liberty are mutually exclusive, that you can have only one or the other is something i reject. >> but what about john brennan's answers on torture and secret leak investigations? the defense department on defense. the pentagon's top brass pushed back on questions about the military response in benghazi. >> are you surprised that the president of the united states never called you secretary panetta, and says how is it going? >> you know, normally in these situations -- >> did he know the level of threat that -- >> let me finish the answer. we were deploying the forces. he knew we were deploying the forces. he was being kept -- >> i hate to intript you, but i have limited time. we didn't deploy any forces. >> it was over by the time -- >> mr. secretary, you didn't know how long the attack would last. did you ever call him and say, mr. president, it looks like we don't hav
MSNBC
Feb 7, 2013 2:00pm PST
there is no correlation there as far as any type of termination of the cia's detention interrogation program and that increase in strikes. now, i will say that if you look out over the last four years what happened in a number of places such as yemen and other areas where there was, in fact, a growth of al qaeda, quite unfortunately, and so what we were trying to do in this administration is to take every measure possible to protect the lives of american citizens whether it be abroad or in the united states. as well as a maturation of capabilities and inside into those intelligence plots as a result of the investment that was made in the previous administration that allowed us in this administration to take appropriate actions. >> well, let's talk further about the targeted killings. when the targeted killings began several years ago, the first order of effect was the elimination of the senior operational leadership of al qaeda, of many of the leaders, many of the core leaders. obviously, that is a critical priority. we have heard both former cia director michael hayden in an interview on cn
MSNBC
Feb 4, 2013 6:00am PST
of the cia with the expansion of the drone program. you ran it in some form, operational aspect of it at the cia. do you run actually less, are you in charge of less of the drone defenpartment at the defe department? >> we're the ones who supply the cia. >> who makes the call? >> it depends on the operation. the best thing i've seen in four years is we really have a very good military intelligence partnership now with regards to going after al qaeda, and there are operations that we've developed in which we developed the targets and then we make the decision who is best able to go after the targets and it's a very synchronized good operation that gives us the best of military information and intelligence. >> the drone wes don't have a big debate in the united states, the new cover of "time" magazine, but retired general mccrystal, here's what he said about drones during this book tour. "what scares me about drone strikes is how they are perceived around the world, the resentment created by american use of unmanned strikes, is much greater than the average american appreciates. t
MSNBC
Feb 5, 2013 1:00pm PST
a lot of secret things that our government does through the cia and special forces, but the theory here is that the executive branch is not allowed to do it on its own, that there's at least oversight from congress. and in the past we've known, the new jersey committees -- intell committees on the hill have always been lap dogs and not watch dogs. the memo that we see today doesn't have anything along those lines, and to me that's the most worrisome because we can come up here with different hypothetical scenarios and argue whether they justify use of drones or not, but i want someone who actually is doing this and reviewing this on a day-to-day basis. >> on that basis, ryan, we have hearings thursday for the president's nominee for cia director, john brennan, and he helped design this very program. should we expect that this memo is going to formulate much of the questioning that he has to sustain and take on thursday? >> well, this memo ought to as well as his history with the cia's torture of suspects who were in detention. all of those things are going to be bubbling up here, but, y
MSNBC
Feb 6, 2013 1:00am PST
for new choice of cia director, john brennan. john brennan was once the deputy cia director. he is now president obama's counterterrorism director at the white house. but if he is to run the cia for president obama, john brennan is first going to have to face questions on thursday about some of what michael isikoff turned up here on this program last night. a justice department white paper elaborating the administration's reasoning for why it thinks it is legal to kill american citizens on the president's say so. or actually, on the say so of an informed high level official of the u.s. government. so maybe that's the president, but maybe that's somebody else. michael isikoff's scoop ended up at "the new york times" today and "the washington post" and "the hill" and slate and salon and ap to name a few. it was everywhere. and then at a press conference today, the attorney general was asked about it. >> last night nbc reported a white paper that was prepared by the justice department undated, unsigned about the legal -- the legal pinnacles for targeting americans overseas. could you plea
MSNBC
Feb 7, 2013 10:00pm PST
brennan's confirmation hearing. >> whether he should be the next cia director. >> he's determined, he's strong. >> john brennan is going to face questions. >> a lot of questions. >> about the legal justification for using drone strikes. >> drones set to take center stage. >> to kill american citizens. >> these targets are ethical and justified. >> these are not the drones you're looking for. >> republicans are at war with karl rove. bush's brain, as rove used to be known, when rove was thought to still have a brain, is on a mission to crush backcrap crazy republicans so the party will actually nominate more reasonable candidates who have a chance of winning general elections against democrats. today, a republican who writes big checks to karl rove told politico that the republican party, quote, has had too many candidates who are nut cases. i don't think anybody anywhere with any sense is going to want to elect a candidate who says if your daughter gets raped, it's god's will. give me a break, will you? the problem for karl rove is that he and his rich republican friends may be outnum
MSNBC
Feb 6, 2013 8:00am PST
with oversight of both the cia and the department of defense. i think the discussion is probably helpful. having said that, thomas, you know, we've killed more than 3,000 jihadists in the last several years of these drone campaigns, hundreds of strikes. they were running them out of iraq, afghanistan, yemen, you name it. they've been an important tool to keeping the american people safe. so i think we should keep in mind that these are not law enforcement operations. they're acts of war against a terrorist threat to the united states. >> so the drone program, if we look at it, it has ramped up under the president. there have been 400 -- more than 400 cia strikes against targets in pakistan and yemen. as we look back over history, that's eight times as many under president bush. now, the drone attacks, they often have collateral damage. they kill civilians. so doesn't that strain the ongoing future relations between the u.s. and countries where these attacks are taking place, because aren't we creating more problems for themselves when a civilian is killed and they dedicate themselves to trying t
MSNBC
Feb 8, 2013 2:00pm PST
crazily in every direction now. karl rove, the architect of the iraq war, the escapee from the cia scandal, the proud sponsor of the conservative feats in 2006 and twoit who wasted fat cat money by the tens of millions, that karl rove is thumping around the country right now like a wounded elephant threatening to crush the party's fringes. tea partiers, look out. he may not be able to beat democrats but he's got big, bad you in his sights. so the fight has begun. while steve king, matt kibby, joe walsh, rush limbaugh, all the inhas been nants of the cuckoo nest are cscrambling because karl rove is drawing lines in the sand. want republicans to win? cut out the crazies he he's? want the democrats, stop giving them easy targets, rape candidates and witches. stop making the democrats look smart and reasonable by running stupid and crazy candidates. the joy is, i have to say this, and it's really quite funny, each of the right wing factions thinks that they are the same ones, they are the ones who have to protect the party from the others. well, tonight the duel to the death drives deeper. it'
MSNBC
Feb 7, 2013 4:00pm PST
the kill list, and so his confirmation hearing to become head of the cia is drawing an unusual amount of interest and attention. we'll get to what he said and the reaction at the top of the show. >>> also, more and more people on the right are asking, who is karl rove and why should we listen to him anymore? rove wants electable republicans nominated. the tea partiers want their people in, real right wingers, and they're trashing rove and establishment republicans in the process. >>> plus, you've probably heard that chuck hagel once said the following, quote, the jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here. i'm not an israeli senator. i'm a united states senator. but what you probably haven't heard is the rest of that interview and why some people who know what hagel really said aren't angry with him at all. >>> and why is chris christie talking so much about his weight? maybe because he wants to talk about it on his terms, and why might that be? because perhaps he's running for president. >>> finally, the recently fired dick morris admits he was wrong at the top of his lungs las
MSNBC
Feb 7, 2013 2:00am PST
. >> thanks so much, bill. >>> president obama's nominee to head the cia can look forward to a grilling on capitol hill this morning. during confirmation hearings, john brennan will be asked to explain the legal justification tore predator drone strikes against u.s. citizens. they're expected to zero in as his chief counter-terrorism adviser, specifically what he knew and when he knew it. his knowledge of the administration's use of the tactic faces scrutiny after the release of confidential government documents. drones are used to kill americans believed to be leaders of al qaeda. that news brought backlash from both sides of the aisle along with demands of the administration's legal justification for the strikes. the white house bound to growing political pressure and agreed to hand over the documents to congress. dianne feinstein who heads the intelligence committee says lawmakers should know what brennan knew and when he knew it. she released a statement saying it's critical for the committee's oversight function to fully understand the legal basis for all intelligence and counter-t
MSNBC
Feb 7, 2013 2:30am PST
. this as the president's pick for the cia director heads to capitol hill to defend his record as mastermind of the drone program. plus, republicans pick their guy to respond to the president's state of the union address. we'll explain what it means for the party moving forward. >>> a little later, a big snowstorm expected to dump up to two feet of snow in parts of new england. we'll show you who will be the hardest hit straight ahead. first, let's get to the news live here at 5:30 a.m. eastern time at 30 rock in new york city. we begin with new developments involving the nation's highly secretive drone campaign. members of congress demanding more details into how the administration justifies the targeted killing of american citizens. the white house says president obama has directed the department of justice to brief members of the intelligence committees. the move comes after five groups of 11 senators led by ron widen of oregon demanded insight into the government's legal rational for drone strikes against americans abroad. senator widen took his frustrations to twitter writing, every american has the
MSNBC
Feb 8, 2013 2:00am PST
are still concerned if it's legal and ask, what if the cia takes out the wrong person? >> we've got to see all, any and all, of those legal opinions, ones that the bipartisan group of senators asked for, before the vote. >> if you would remove that individual, please. >> reporter: protests just as brennan was getting started. >> i also believe it is important for you to set the record straight -- >> reporter: brennan tells lawmakers he objected to questionable interrogation tactics. >> waterboarding is r reprehensible and something that sha not be done. >> reporter: democrats are confident brennan will be confirmed. >> he was honest, he was forthright, he answered the questions. >> i think you're the guy for the job and the only guy for the job. >> reporter: next week the panel meets to discuss classified material. and of course, that classified material now includes the memo justifying why this administration is using drones. >>> don't panic but or planet is about a week away from a close encounter of an extraordinary kind. an asteroid with the not so sexy name of 2012da14, about half the
MSNBC
Feb 7, 2013 3:00am PST
to be the next head of the cia. and andrea mitchell, i wonder if this could, in any way, get in the way of brennan again. >> well, this is so much in a state of flux right now. clearly, i mean, the president's called to senator wyden last night, so unusual to try to reassure him and try to ward off what could be a calamitous hearing today. the fact is that brennan was already going to be asked about enhanced interrogation techniques. john mccain has raised those issues. but in terms of the democratic group and actually susan collins was one of those as well, the 11 senators led by john wyden and three of them are on the committee including wyden and susan collins, and they were pushing for the release of this. and then mike rogers on our air yesterday, the house intelligence chair not in the confirmation process, but he lent his voice. senator feinstein was obviously working behind the scenes. and so finally last night around 6:30, 7:00 last night, the white house relented and the president called wyden. i know you guys are going to talk to wyden later. but this is a very big deal becau
MSNBC
Feb 5, 2013 10:00am PST
with some disturbing revelations about the outsourcing of torture over the last decade. and the cia's past use of secret detentions. sfwlimplgts plus, the disturbing vote out of north korea that appears to show new york city in flames after a dream sequence of a nuclear attack. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. ldn't itl if we took the nissan altima and reimagined nearly everything in it? gave it greater horsepower and class-leading 38 mpg highway... advanced headlights... and zero gravity seats? yeah, that would be cool. introducing the completely reimagined nissan altima. it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovati that excites. now get a $199-per-month lease on the 2013 nissan altima. ♪ . >>> we say that we only take these kinds of actions when there's an imminent threat when capture is not feasible and when we are confident that we are doing so in a way that's consistent with federal and international law. >> the u.s. government can order the killing of american citizens if they are believed to be "senior operational leaders of al qaeda" or its subsidiary gr
MSNBC
Feb 7, 2013 8:00am PST
roberts. tolling our agenda today, game of drones. develops right now, nominee for cia director john brennan going on the hot seat in a matter of hours as the white house makes an about face on its controversial drone program and the targeting of americans overseas. the obama administration now breaking years of secrecy and handing over a confidential 16-page memo that justifies the targeting killing of u.s. citizens abroad suspected of being terrorists. this decision to release the document came hours before brennan was to face a serious grilling by lawmakers outraged over the program. the biggest critic, democratic senator ron wyden who says the president has been stonewalling congress for years and suggested blocking brennan's nomination. president obama called wyden specifically last night. >> clearly, the president's call to senator wyden so unusual and trying to ward off what could be a calamitous hearing today. >> what standard will barack obama be held to after the pictures of the little children who were killed by his cone drone attacks are placed before the jury in the hagu
MSNBC
Feb 7, 2013 9:00am PST
's mick to head the cia readies to testify this afternoon on capitol hill, calls for greater transparency and legal justification for the killings have increased. the outcry reached a crescendo on monday when nbc's michael isikoff obtained a leaked white pair from the government suggesting that the u.s. government can kill american set zenz overseas without any specific intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the u.s. the expansive legal framework set off alarm bells. >> every american has the right to know when their government believes it's allowed to kill them. i don't think that as one person said, that is too much to ask. >> the "new york times" wrote "it was disturbing to see the twisted logic of the administration's lawyers laid out in black and white. it brought back unwelcome memories of memos written for president george w. bush to justify illegal wiretapping, indefinite detention, kidnapping, abuse, and torture. "time's" writer david carr put it more success iktly. drones, very effective at targeting and wiping out rule of law. the ensuing uproar ov
MSNBC
Feb 8, 2013 9:00am PST
of waterboard and detention made their voices heard at yesterday's confirmation hearing for john brennan as cia director. >> they won't even tell congress what country we are killing children in. >> please -- >> senator feinstein. >> if you could please expedite the removal. >> more important than the children of pakistan and yemen? are they more important? do your job! >> the hearing serve as a public discussion of the most controversial counterterrorism policies that began under president george w. bush and, in part, have continued and expanded under president obama. brennan's defense of the secrecy surrounding the administration's most questionable program, targeted assassinations using drone aircraft, was as opaque as the program itself. >> what we need to do is optimize transparency on these issues, but at the same time optimize secrecy and the protection of our national security. i don't think that it's one or the other. it's trying to optimize both of them. >> some senators, including ron widen and angus king, pushed brennan to explain the legal at and justification for assassinating ame
MSNBC
Feb 5, 2013 12:00pm PST
policy from the cia more to the military and if it was under the us a passes of the military it would require greater transparency. of course, he's going to be there toeing the president's line, the administration's line. it will be interesting to see if there's hints of the desire to move it more to the military from the cia. >> we are in a post geographical war with people that don't wear uniforms. if we don't attack them in the -- >> no one doesn't want to attack them. >> where are the limits? it has to be somebody part of al qaeda, something part of the war on terror as it's defined. there are no -- that's the problem is there are limitations. could be anybody anywhere according to this memo. >> no leg to stand on when this technology turned and used on us or allies. we will have no leg to stand on legal or otherwise. >> that's not true. that's not true at all. al qaeda attacked this nation. we are attacking al qaeda back. there's no -- >> a 16-year-old was not in al qaeda. >> hold on. but the difference is -- >> 700 innocent children were not in al qaeda, toure. that's what's hap
MSNBC
Feb 6, 2013 10:00am PST
ahead of john brennan's confirmation hearing to head the cia, the obama administration's drone program is drawing new scrutiny from both sides of the aisle and raising big questions about just how far the government should go in targeted assassinations without oversight from congress or from the courts. joining me now for our daily fix, msnbc contributor and "usa today" washington bureau chief. chris, first to you, i don't think there is any big question so far as to whether or not john brennan is going to be confirmed at least going into the hearing, but this is a real debate now. because of michael isikoff breaking the story and finding that white paper, and discovering that the justice department had at least september that much to the hill, some members, the 11 senators and at least three the committee asking big questions about why there isn't more oversight. >> what's fascinating is when they announced the trio of nominations, john kerry at state, chuck hagel at defense and john brennan for cia, i remember being on the show and saying i think hagel will be the most controversial
MSNBC
Feb 7, 2013 12:00am PST
's ability to rein in cia and -- to rein in cia access. >> colonel, this is warfare that americans aren't used to. and they ask questions about what are our constitutional -- what is our leeway here? what is fair game and what is not? and how are these decisions being made? is this just the new wave of warfare that we have to get used to? >> it is, because we have the technology now to do things we haven't done before. but the argument that congress ought to be involved in supervising this is an important one, and we should not ignore it. the congress has a responsibility, not just the authority, but the responsibility to supervise the activities of the executive branch, and in particular, the intelligence committee which takes a look at all the black programs and is kept in the loop on everything certainly has the capability of making an evaluation of what is the right thing to do and is the wrong thing to do, and needs to weigh in. to the extent it doesn't do that, then it's abrogated its responsibilities. >> sam, what is your take on what the hearings are going to be like tomorrow fo
MSNBC
Feb 7, 2013 6:00am PST
to be the next director of the cia. press secretary jay carney refused to acknowledge that the memo existed. he prepared for the senate intelligence and he refused to commit saying any decision would require interagent consultation. after nbc commented on the white paper that summarized the legal arguments and hoping to nip any congressional sustained criticism in the bud and delay brennan's confirmation, the president made the decision to have it be shown to members of the congress. he called the senator who has a one-man oversight, biden threatened to pull out the stops to get the memo and called the disclosure an important first step and said the heavy lifting of the process begins. >> every american has the right to know when their government believes it's allowed to kill them. i don't think that as one person said, that is too much to ask. this idea that security and liberty are mutually exclusive and you can have or the other is something i reject. >> critics accused the president of hypocrisy of classified memos on interrogation in 2009. refusing and keeping the legal opinions secret. ye
MSNBC
Feb 8, 2013 8:00am PST
. >> with the exception of mr. panetta, i feel like i've been jerked around by every cia director. >> 11 united states senators asked to see any and all legal opinions but when i went to read the opinions this morning, it is not clear that that is what was provided. >> we only take such actions as a last resort to save lives, when there's no other alternative to taking an action that's going to mitigate that threat. >> they won't even tell congress what countries we are killing children in. >> please -- >> senator feinstein zsh if you could please expedite the removal. >>> we have michael isakoff, and the correspondent who obtained the white page memo, jim warren, chicago editor of the daily beast and newsweek and karen finney and john braybender. michael, i want to start with you because it was your reporting that started all of this for the american people to get to learn more about how the administration feels it is legal in the choices made for drone strikes. one thing politico is reporting in the article that they have on this and, of course, the two hearings we were watching yesterday, one being
MSNBC
Feb 3, 2013 11:00am PST
playing you as cia director. i won't ask you to comment on the acting, but the movie seems to indicate that enhanced interrogation techniques were used to get information on bin laden. is that true? >> well, first of all, it's a movie. let's remember that. i lived the real story. and the real story is that in order to put the puzzle of intelligence together, that led us to bin laden, there was a lot of intelligence. there were a lot of pieces out there that were part of that puzzle. yes, some of it came from some of the tactics that were used at that time, interrogation tactics that were used. but the fact is, we put together most of that intelligence without having to resort to that. >> and you think you could have gotten it without any -- >> i think we could have gotten bin laden without that. >> it's a big weekend. there's a big contest a lot of people are talking about. >> go 49ers. >> it's the contest that has to do with clinton or biden. 2016. >> oh. >> you've been close to both of them. secretary panetta, i've got to ask you, who's ready to be commander in chief tomorrow? >> i t
MSNBC
Feb 5, 2013 6:00am PST
of debate within the administration, but. >> that would be true. >> with cia nominee john brennan's confirmation hearing set for thursday, the pressure on the administration to be more transparent will only increase. in the last year, the administration officials have given several speeches that were designed to give the illusion of transparency on this issue by the use of force in targeted killings without being fully transparent. brennan was the first administration official to publicly acknowledge the drone strikes calling them, quote, ethical and just in a speech at the wilson center last year. >> it is hard to imagine a tool that can better minimize the risk to civilians than remotely piloted aircraft. for the same reason, targeted strikes conform the principle of humanity which requires us to use weapons that will not inflict unnecessary suffering. >> and at a speech last march at northwestern university law school, attorney general eric holder said the targeted killings of americans are constitutional if government officials determine the target poses an imminent threat of
MSNBC
Feb 5, 2013 2:00pm PST
is making the call? the attorney general, the head of the cia? who makes the call when we send in a drone. is it the army, the cia, is it the attorney general? >> a lot of recent reporting has shown it's actually barack obama himself -- >> through the nsc. >> he is the informed high-level official -- >> does he have to give an official finding? does he have to have a finding? does he have to -- >> there's a finding that supports the policy, but i don't know that he needs -- >> does he have fingerprints when he makes one of these decisions like -- >> not public ones. in fact, they won't discuss the public -- deliberations at all. listen, until last year they wouldn't acknowledge the drone policy existed. >> can you tell from your reporting if there's any conflict of conscience within the administration or they agree we need to do this in the war we're in now? >> look at panetta's comments to chuck todd the other day on "meet the press" in which he said making these decisions about who should die and who should not, who should get targeted, were really tough ones and he agonized about that.
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